With the increasingly popular concept of serving restaurant-quality meals at home and the plethora of cooking shows and magazines, today's culinary enthusiasts are seeking kitchen solutions that can provide them with both style and functionality.
To recreate the restaurant experience in your kitchen you will need the essentials, from appliances and cookware to sinks and faucets. In an effort to help provide the ideal environment to prepare and create fabulous dishes, many manufacturers have increased their offering of faucets and sinks.
The sink is one of the most useful tools in your kitchen. It's where you wash your dishes, fill and drain your pots and rinse your fruits and vegetables. Sinks come in different sizes, styles and finishes and can be dropped in from the top or mounted beneath your countertop to create a smooth, sleek finish. Whatever your price point, style or needs you need a sink that's right for you.
The first consideration is deciding the size of your sink because it should match the scale of your kitchen. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a 22-inch-by-24-inch single-bowl sink for kitchens 150 square feet and smaller. Since the average kitchen is twice that size, a 33-inch sink with a double bowl is typically large enough to satisfy the needs of most families.
Stainless steel and enamel are common finishes for sinks because they are easy to maintain and resistant to wear. But you are certainly not limited to these finishes. Composite sinks, which are made of acrylic and fiberglass have a glossy, sleek look but tend to scratch and have a low tolerance to wear and tear so they may not be the best choice for the busy cook. Quartz composite is tougher and may last longer than acrylic, but it's still susceptible to scratching. An alternative to composite is an integral sink. This is made up of granite or quartz and is configured into the countertop and installed as a single unit.
You will also need to choose how you want your kitchen sink to be installed, because that will greatly impact how it will look and function. The most common and affordable type of installation is self-rimming sinks (also known as drop-in sinks). They have a rim or lip that sits on top of the countertop. They're typically the easiest to install since there are no special requirements for fixing it in place.
For a smoother transition you'll want to install a rimless sink that mounts to the underside of the countertop. Keep in mind that a rimless sink works best with granite, stone or solid surface countertops and is not recommended for use with laminate. Another option is the integral sink where the countertop and sink are all one piece.
Once you've established the type of installation you want, you should think about the configuration you will need. In other words what shape and style of sink would you like — a single or double bowl, square or round basins and curved or square corners? Large single bowl sinks are great for washing large pans whereas double bowl sinks provide the versatility of a multipurpose sink.
Finally, there's the material choice to think about. Kitchen sinks come in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, fireclay, stone, solid surface, composite, concrete and copper. Which material you choose depends on your aesthetic preferences, budget and needs. Keep in mind that some materials require more care than others in order to keep them clean and looking good. And others don't have the durability to keep up with a busy kitchen.
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